The Countryside Party was a minor political party operating in the United Kingdom. It was formed in May 2000 by Jim Crawford who was the Northern Director of the Countryside Alliance. Much of the party's agenda was the same as that of the Alliance, such as opposition to any restrictions on fox hunting.
They formed themselves out of what they perceive as a lack of understanding or care about rural issues by the mainstream political parties. They are by and large a conservative-minded organisation, and have unsuccessfully opposed measures such as the Scottish Land Reform Act, which has been designed to give greater rights to tenant farmers and crofters.
According to its 2004 accounts, the party's membership is formally "limited to the two founders, Jim Crawford and Richard Malbon plus a very small number of supporters who are not actually members of the Party."
The Countryside Party stood in the Scottish Parliament 2003 election for the Highlands and Islands electoral region. They polled just 1,768 votes (1.05% of the vote in the area). They contested the 2004 European elections. In the South West England region, they got 2.1% of the vote which was sufficient to regain their deposit; however in the North West England region they polled only 0.5%. Their relatively good standing in the South West may owe something to their notability of their candidates for reasons other than mainstream politics. The Party's six candidates in the region included Chris Thomas-Everard, whose family became famous during the 2001 foot and mouth crisis for refusing to allow his cows to be culled, Diana Scott the joint master of the Devon and Somerset hunt and prominent pro-hunting campaigner and Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer.
They were deregistered in July 2008.
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